Today, the League of Conservation Voters released its annual scorecard, which rates legislators based on their votes on issues of environmental significance. The LCV scorecard has its critics, but it’s nonetheless become something of a gold standard when measuring how "green" a lawmaker is.
A couple of big stories emerge from this year’s scorecard.
The first speaks for itself:
- Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.): 67%
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY): 73%
- Sen. John McCain (D-Ariz.): 0%
No, that’s not a typo. McCain scored a big fat zilch, mainly because missed every single vote LCV scored, including the big votes around the energy bill. (For more on that, see my post on McCain’s phantom climate credibility.) McCain was the only Senator to miss every LCV vote — he was outvoted by legislators who were out sick most of the year, even some who died this year.
If you’re dead silent, is it still straight talk?
The other story is that, in LCV’s words, "elections have consequences." In 2006 LCV targeted a "dirty dozen" lawmakers. Nine of those lawmakers were defeated. How do their replacements rate? This is from LCV’s press release:
• Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), who scored 90 percent in 2007, replaced Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), whose lifetime score was 7 percent.
• Sen. John Tester (D-MT), who scored 80 percent, replaced Sen. Conrad Burns, (R-MT), whose lifetime score was 5 percent.
• Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-AZ), who scored 100 percent, replaced Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), whose lifetime score was 7 percent.
• Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who scored 100 percent, defeated Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), whose lifetime score was 15 percent.
• Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who scored 73 percent, replaced Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), whose lifetime score was 15 percent.
• Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), who scored 75 percent, replaced Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC), whose lifetime score was 5 percent.
• Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), who scored 100 percent, replaced Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), whose lifetime score was 10 percent.
• Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), who scored 87 percent, replaced Sen. George Allen (R-VA), whose lifetime score was 1 percent.
Congrats to LCV for their tireless work on this stuff.